B-211699, JUL 8, 1983, OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL

B-211699: Jul 8, 1983

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YOU SAY THAT THE GRAND FORKS ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER WHERE YOU AND THE OTHERS WERE EMPLOYED. WAS A PART OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY UNTIL APRIL 8. THE CENTER WAS APPARENTLY "DEFEDERALIZED" AND BECAME A PART OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA. RECEIVED REDUCTION-IN-FORCE NOTICES AND WERE RELEASED. YOU ARE UNCERTAIN AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S POSITION. REQUEST THAT WE REVIEW THE MATTER AND INFORM YOU AS TO WHETHER SUCH POSITION IS CORRECT AND. WHETHER CONDITIONS MAY OCCUR AT A FUTURE DATE WHICH WILL QUALIFY SOME OR ALL OF YOU FOR THIS PAY. AN OFFICIAL DECISION IS NOT BEING RENDERED ON THE QUESTION PRESENTED. THE PROVISIONS GOVERNING SEVERANCE PAY ARE CONTAINED IN 5 U.S.C.

B-211699, JUL 8, 1983, OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

MR. FRANCIS J. SCHANILEC:

WE REFER TO LETTER DATED APRIL 27, 1983, SIGNED BY YOU AND 44 OTHERS CONCERNING YOUR POSSIBLE ENTITLEMENT TO SEVERANCE PAY INCIDENT TO EMPLOYMENT WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

YOU SAY THAT THE GRAND FORKS ENERGY TECHNOLOGY CENTER WHERE YOU AND THE OTHERS WERE EMPLOYED, WAS A PART OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY UNTIL APRIL 8, 1983. AT THAT TIME, THE CENTER WAS APPARENTLY "DEFEDERALIZED" AND BECAME A PART OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA. AS A RESULT OF THAT ACTION, APPROXIMATELY 80 FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AT THAT INSTALLATION, INCLUDING YOURSELF AND THE OTHER SIGNERS OF YOUR LETTER, RECEIVED REDUCTION-IN-FORCE NOTICES AND WERE RELEASED. YOU INDICATE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ADVISED THAT NONE OF YOU QUALIFIED FOR SEVERANCE PAY.

YOU SAY FURTHER THAT, WHILE NONE OF THE AFFECTED EMPLOYEES PRESENTLY INTEND SEEKING SEVERANCE PAY, YOU ARE UNCERTAIN AS TO THE CORRECTNESS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S POSITION. YOU, THEREFORE, REQUEST THAT WE REVIEW THE MATTER AND INFORM YOU AS TO WHETHER SUCH POSITION IS CORRECT AND, IF SO, WHETHER CONDITIONS MAY OCCUR AT A FUTURE DATE WHICH WILL QUALIFY SOME OR ALL OF YOU FOR THIS PAY.

AN OFFICIAL DECISION IS NOT BEING RENDERED ON THE QUESTION PRESENTED. FURTHER, IN VIEW OF THE LIMITED INFORMATION PROVIDED, WE CANNOT PROVIDE YOU WITH A SPECIFIC ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTIONS. HOWEVER, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION MAY BE HELPFUL TO YOU.

THE PROVISIONS GOVERNING SEVERANCE PAY ARE CONTAINED IN 5 U.S.C. SEC. 5595, WHICH PROVIDES IN SUBSECTION (B) THEREOF, THAT UNDER PRESCRIBED REGULATIONS, AN EMPLOYEE WHO CURRENTLY HAS BEEN ON THE ROLLS FOR A CONTINUOUS PERIOD OF AT LEAST 12 MONTHS AND IS INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED FROM THE SERVICE, BUT NOT BY REMOVAL FOR CAUSE, IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE SEVERANCE PAY.

THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO THAT AUTHORITY ARE CONTAINED IN 5 C.F.R. SEC. 550, SUBPART G (SECS. 550.701-708). SUBSECTION 550.701(B)(1) DEFINES THE CLASS OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE COVERED. SUBSECTIONS 550.701(B)(2) -(8) PROVIDE FOR SPECIFIC CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH CLASSES OF EMPLOYEES WHO MIGHT OTHERWISE BE COVERED UNDER SUBSECTION 550.701(B)(1) ARE EXCLUDED FROM SEVERANCE PAY ENTITLEMENTS.

WHILE WE ARE UNABLE TO DETERMINE WHICH, IF ANY, OF THESE EXCLUSIONARY SUBSECTIONS MAY BE APPLICABLE, YOUR ATTENTION IS DIRECTED TO SUBSECTIONS (4), (5) AND (6) THEREOF. UNDER THESE PROVISIONS PAYMENT OR NONPAYMENT OF SEVERANCE PAY IS PREDICATED ON WHETHER THE SEPARATED EMPLOYEE IS OFFERED EMPLOYMENT WITH THE NON-FEDERAL ACTIVITY AT PAY LEVELS COMPARABLE TO THE PAY RECEIVED BY THEM AS A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO SEPARATION.

WE HOPE THAT THE FOREGOING INFORMATION ADEQUATELY RESPONDS TO YOUR INQUIRY.